Courtesy, Columbia Pictures.

Movie Review: The Equalizer 3

07:00 September 07, 2023
By: David Vicari

Truth be known, I have not seen The Equalizer 1 or 2. I did watch the 1980s TV series that starred Edward Woodward, which is the general basis for these movies starring Denzel Washington. There is also a current TV reworking of the show with Queen Latifah.

In the movies, Washington is Robert McCall, a retired U.S. Marine and DIA operative who helps innocent people with his special brand of justice.

At the start of Equalizer 3, McCall lays waste to a gangster and his enforcers at a winery in Sicily. During the slaughter, however, McCall is badly injured. He is saved by a local Carabiniere (Eugenio Mastrandrea) and a kind doctor (Remo Girone), and slowly recovers at a small coastal Italian village. McCall soon falls in love with the town and also strikes up a friendship with a lovely waitress named Aminah (Gaia Scodellaro), but things go south when drug dealing gangsters begin terrorizing the village. Predictably, McCall goes back into action and starts murdering the crap out of these bad guys.

Antoine Fuqua's film is extreme in its violence to an almost fetishistic degree. I'm all for cool gore, but sometimes this was a bit much. When he's in massacre mode, McCall is like the Michael Myers of action heroes, being very stealthy and using any and everything at his disposal, like butcher knives, piano wire or a meat cleaver.

Washington is great to watch, delivering little nuances in his performance. This is just more proof of why he is one of the great movie stars. It's also fun to see him on screen again with actress Dakota Fanning. If you recall, they worked together in 2004's Man on Fire, when she was a tiny lass. Here, Fanning plays a CIA agent who McCall trusts.

The Equalizer 3 delivers exactly what you would expect from this kind of action film, and that is fine, but the plot is so aggressively formulaic that you're hoping that it would go a little askew and throw in a surprise or two.

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